A Winnipeg executive has landed himself in some very hot water with comments that he made on social media over the week end and when you consider his line of work it's hard to feel too sorry for the man.
The Winnipeg Jets recently defeated the Nashville Predators in a thrilling 7 game series in the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs but it appears that at least one Jets' fan wasn't simply happy with walking away from the series with a win. Instead the fan, a man that is now known to be Todd Wilson the president of the Winnipeg Rifles of the Canadian Junior Football League. decided to take to social media to gloat and may have destroyed his career in the process.
Wilson published an image on Saturday night that showed a beer vendor serving fans at the MTS Center during the first game of the Western Conference Final between the Jets and the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and with that image came a caption in which he poked some fun at the recently eliminated Nashville Predators, and more specifically Predators' star defenseman P.K. Subban.
"Two nights ago he was in Game 7. Tonight P.K. Subban is selling me beer," wrote Wilson on Facebook, the commented follow by a winking emoji.
The problem for Wilson here is that P.K. Suban is black as in the vendor who he was using to make fun of the man. His comments have been perceived as racist by many who saw them and it resulted in a firestorm of backlash against Wilson, including calls for his job and in some cases even worse.
Now it has to be said here that Wilson may very well have meant nothing racist by his comments, he may have merely been poking fun at a high profile hockey player that was arguably the best player Nashville had in their series against the Jets. At the end of the day none of us are capable of reading Wilson's mind, but that being said it's very easy to understand why the comments have been viewed in such a negative fashion. If Wilson did indeed mean his comments to b an attack on Suban because of his race however, they should be unequivocally condemned.
The fact of the matter however is that Wilson of all people has very little excuse for his behavior, malicious or otherwise. As the president of a sports franchise, even one in the minor leagues, you have to be acutely aware of how your actions or comments will be perceived by the public at all times. Wilson is also the deputy commissioner of the league as a whole, which makes things even more unforgivable.
The Winnipeg Rifles today accepted the resignation of Todd Wilson, and they also released the following statement on the matter via their official website:
The Board of Directors of the Winnipeg Rifles Football Club has accepted the resignation of President, Todd Wilson, effective immediately.
The change in board leadership is a result of an offensive and totally unacceptable social media posting made by Wilson while attending a hockey game on Saturday night.
The Club’s Vice President, Dale Driedger, has now stepped into the presidency. His commitment to minor football as a player, coach and volunteer has been constant throughout his life including serving on the board of the Rifles since 2015.
“The culture of the amateur football community in Winnipeg is all about diversity,” said Driedger, “which is why the offensive posting is so out of step with the Rifles and what we’ve always worked so hard to instill in young athletes. Ours is and will always be a welcoming environment for any young person wanting to become involved in minor football.”
Needless to say the Rifles quite understandably want to remove the stink of this incident as quickly as possible.
Update: Wilson himself has not also released a statement.
"Last night I added a post while at a hockey game. It appears that some people interpreted the post as something other than it was intended. Following the game, I immediately removed the post. For anyone that felt offended, it was certainly not intended that way, but rather a poor attempt at humour. I sincerely apologize for the post and please understand that my comments do not represent any of the organizations that I volunteer with."
It does not appear that the league is moving to remove him at this time.
Photo Credit: Keystone Press